Earlier this fall, I had the chance to visit Long Island, NY for the first time ever, and tomorrow, I’ll be diving into another brand new city: St. Louis!
I’m so excited to attend Next American City’s Vanguard 2012 conference, where I’ll get to share some of my professional work with 40 other young urbanists around the country doing truly incredible things. I can’t wait to be surrounded by architects, designers, planners, environmentalists, social entrepreneurs, and people who are as fascinated by, and in love with, the built environment as I am.
I’ll be offline for a few days while I traipse around St. Louis (home to my father’s alma mater and a number of colorful stories I’ve heard about his college days!), hearing about the city’s own urban revitalization efforts and getting to know the rest of the Vanguard Class of 2012. It’s being able to have experiences like these that remind me why I want to push myself professionally, to get my LEED AP certification and a Masters degree (eventually!) and continue building up project management experience until I can be the lead on some innovative development that will (in a perfect, ideal, dreamy professional world) help transform a blighted, underserved neighborhood in much the same way that my company’s current work is intent on doing in Ward 7 DC.
I’m constantly looking forward to the next step, and just this fall, I’m already stumbling over the number of things I can’t wait to do — from this upcoming conference, to a wonderful gala next Saturday night, to a November trip to my beloved Boston, to an Atlanta Thanksgiving, to the Tough Mudder and a baby shower in Tampa, and literally everything in between. Life continues to toss people, travels, and experiences in front of me that I can’t help but be incredibly grateful for; how does each year get sweeter than the last? I’m not sure I can speak highly enough of 2012, guys. Maybe the world’s going to end in December, but if it does, at least it ended with a bang!
But, back to the truly significant matter at hand: Did I mention how excited I am to have 3 nights to spend at a hotel with a giant king-sized bed and, I hope, FAR too many ridiculously soft pillows? I’m going to try to utilize the hotel gym while I’m gone, and maybe even do a nifty 20-minute hotel room workout if I’m feeling so inspired, but let’s be serious, I’m way more focused on finding the best St. Louis-style barbecue and taking embarrassingly too many photos of the St. Louis arch and anything else I happen to run into on my ramblings. I have high hopes for the conference and can’t wait to head out to a new city tomorrow – see you next week!